Skip to main content

Chelsea boosted by first profit in Abramovich era

November 9, 2012 -- Updated 1810 GMT (0210 HKT)
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the EPL club.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the EPL club.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chelsea announces profit of $2.2 million for the period ending June 30, 2012
  • It is the first time the English club has been in black since Roman Abramovich took over
  • Russian has bankrolled Chelsea in recent years but new rules threaten to curb this
  • Club says it now has the fifth largest turnover of any team in Europe

(CNN) -- Chelsea's onfield successes this year have led to the European soccer champions' first financial profit during the nine-year reign of owner Roman Abramovich.

The Russian billionaire has bankrolled the English Premier League club since buying it for a nominal fee in 2003, posting big losses every year since then as he has sanctioned spending sprees to sign some of the sport's biggest players.

Last year ended in a loss of £67.7 million ($108 million) but the figures up to June 30, 2012 reveal a profit of £1.4 million ($2.2 million).

Chelsea also announced on Friday that it had made a record turnover of £255.7 million ($407 million) -- which it said is the fifth largest of any European club.

That was a boost of £33 million ($52 million) from last year, driven by the club's first UEFA Champions League title and a profit on player sales of £28.8 million ($46 million).

Battle of the Russian billionaires
Didier Drogba welcomed to China
It is now nearly a year since Chelsea lost to QPR 1-0 in an English Premier League game at Loftus Road. During the game it was alleged QPR defender Anton Ferdinand swore at John Terry and made reference to the Chelsea captain's reported affair with the ex-partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry is then said to have described Ferdinand as a "f***ing black c***". It is now nearly a year since Chelsea lost to QPR 1-0 in an English Premier League game at Loftus Road. During the game it was alleged QPR defender Anton Ferdinand swore at John Terry and made reference to the Chelsea captain's reported affair with the ex-partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry is then said to have described Ferdinand as a "f***ing black c***".
Where it all began
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Crime and Punishment in sport Crime and Punishment in sport
From Inter Milan to Manchester City: The reigning English Premier League champions have snapped up right-back Maicon for an undisclosed fee to help boost their bid for domestic and European honors in 2013. The Brazilian international has been at the San Siro for the past six seasons and made 235 appearances for the club. From Inter Milan to Manchester City: The reigning English Premier League champions have snapped up right-back Maicon for an undisclosed fee to help boost their bid for domestic and European honors in 2013. The Brazilian international has been at the San Siro for the past six seasons and made 235 appearances for the club.
Maicon -- undisclosed fee
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Top European football transfers Top European football transfers

The latter figure came despite offloading players such as Didier Droga, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou on free transfers while spending big on Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku in that period.

In comparison, Premier League rival Arsenal -- which has a more prudent transfer policy -- made a profit of £30.6 million ($48 million) on turnover of £243 million ($386 million) in figures released in September.

Another key element in Chelsea's finances is that £166.6 million ($265 million) of intergroup debt was capitalized into equity -- effectively personal loans to the club written off by Abramovich -- to leave the club debt free.

Chelsea is one of the clubs under the financial spotlight following the implementation of UEFA's new financial fairplay rules, which require teams to be self sufficient and limit the amount that benefactors such as Abramovich can spend with no expectation of return.

If they don't meet these targets, which are being phased in over a number of years, then clubs face expulsion from top European competitions.

"The big challenge is always to have a successful team on the field that wins trophies and to make a profit at the same time," said Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay.

"The objectives have been set across the whole business, from the Academy to Under-21s and all the way through to the first team.

"Our club philosophy is built on success. We had that success on the field this year, as we were the first London team to win the UEFA Champions League, and we enjoyed it off the field as well and this helps us inject financial investment into the team."

Chelsea has also sought to boost its income streams, signing a three-year global energy deal with Russian corporation Gazprom in July while also taking full control of its digital media operations.

Manchester United is the most valuable brand in football according to a report by independent consultancy Brand Finance. The global appeal and on-field success of the 19-time English champions has helped establish a brand worth an estimated $853 million. Manchester United is the most valuable brand in football according to a report by independent consultancy Brand Finance. The global appeal and on-field success of the 19-time English champions has helped establish a brand worth an estimated $853 million.
Manchester's money machine
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Brand power: Football\'s most valuable clubs Brand power: Football's most valuable clubs
Chelsea's players lift the Champions League for the first time after their dramatic win over Bayern Munich. Chelsea's players lift the Champions League for the first time after their dramatic win over Bayern Munich.
Champions League glory at last
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
Chelsea win Champions League for the first time Chelsea win Champions League for the first time
The host venue for Saturday's Champions League final, Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, has a capacity of 69,000 that the German club sells out for every match. The host venue for Saturday's Champions League final, Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, has a capacity of 69,000 that the German club sells out for every match.
Bavarian stronghold
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Bayern vs. Chelsea: Final figures Bayern vs. Chelsea: Final figures

"We're in favor of Financial Fair Play," manager Roberto di Matteo told reporters on Friday ahead of this weekend's home clash with Liverpool.

"We're doing everything in our power to comply with the new rules, and this is great news for the club.

"For the first time, we've been able to achieve a profit -- also thanks to the success on field, but off field as well, with new sponsor deals and also the transfer market.

"Going forward, I think that puts Chelsea in a strong position to remain competitive at domestic level but also international level."

It has been a mixed season so far for Chelsea, with impressive onfield performances marred by racism controversies.

Captain John Terry has just completed a four-match ban for abusing a black opponent a year ago, while the club has lodged a complaint against EPL referee Mark Clattenburg over alleged racist remarks made to Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel.

A Chelsea fan has also been arrested for making an alleged monkey gesture towards a Manchester United player during last week's English League Cup match at Stamford Bridge.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT